Los Angeles’s Neighborhood Councils

In 1999, the City of Los Angeles established DONE (which stands for the Department of Neighborhood Empowerment -- municipal types love an acronym). DONE, in turn, established the neighborhood council system "to promote more citizen participation in government and thus, ideally, make government more responsive to local needs." This year I'm running in the Silver … Continue reading Los Angeles’s Neighborhood Councils

Pan-Asian Metropolis — Robert Kinoshita & his Remarkable Robots

I've been a fan of science-fiction ever since I was a toddler. Well, to be more precise, I was more of a fan of a certain sort of space opera than proper science-fiction. I wasn't exactly reading Stanislaw Lem at that age. Lem has his spaceships but nearly enough shiny robots or laser battles to … Continue reading Pan-Asian Metropolis — Robert Kinoshita & his Remarkable Robots

No Enclave — Exploring Somali Los Angeles

SOMALI AMERICANS Although the first Somalis in the US arrived as sailors on British vessels in the 19th century, the vast majority of Somali Americans arrived as refugees from the Somali Civil War, which broke out in the late 1980s and resulted in the collapse of the Somali government in 1991. The largest community of … Continue reading No Enclave — Exploring Somali Los Angeles

Nobody Drives in LA — Historic Los Angeles Transit Railways

I know that it's not the case -- but even the most recently transplanted Angeleno should know that Los Angeles was built around railroads. The first steam train appeared in Los Angeles in 1869, nineteen years after the city was incorporated. The first horsecar showed up in 1874. The first trolley began operation in 1885. … Continue reading Nobody Drives in LA — Historic Los Angeles Transit Railways

California Fool’s Gold — Exploring Santa Barbara

INTRODUCTION A year ago -- over a year ago! -- my partner and I visited the town of Santa Barbara. I meant to write about our visit for California Fool's Gold sooner, but 2020 was the year everything went pear-shaped. When the pandemic hit, many suddenly found themselves with more time than they knew what … Continue reading California Fool’s Gold — Exploring Santa Barbara

California Fool’s Gold — The Los Angeles Community Directory

As most of my readers know, I've been trying for years to wrap my head around Los Angeles by exploring and mapping the metropolis. My first maps were hand drawn on paper, starting with a map of Elysian Park's trails that I drew around 2001. I also have made quite a few Google Maps. The … Continue reading California Fool’s Gold — The Los Angeles Community Directory

The Most Popular Spotify Playlists

Although I have my issues with Spotify -- namely, it's run by two billionaires who enrich themselves off both musician's recordings and ads that feel like extortion -- I use it a lot. It has to be said, it's a pretty great product for consumers if not at all especially helpful for creators -- especially … Continue reading The Most Popular Spotify Playlists

Daphne Oram

Daphne Oram was a pioneering English composer of electronic music and musique concrète and inventor of early synthesizers. Oram was an eccentric, too, interested not just in experimental music but in esoteric knowledge, time travel, plant intelligence, and mysticism. She was a member of the Research Into Lost Knowledge Organisation and student of New Age … Continue reading Daphne Oram

Seasons in Los Angeles

In 2019, I decided to make a video essay documenting the changing seasons in Los Angeles. https://www.youtube.com/embed/MF9OoSUPnrM The film begins, as the year does, in winter. In this case, it's winter in the San Gabriel Mountains that divide the chaparral of the Los Angeles Basin from the desert of the Antelope Valley. Next we're in … Continue reading Seasons in Los Angeles

Christmas Ghost Stories On Film

I'm not sure how widespread the practice of telling, reading, and watching ghost stories is on Christmas Eve, nor when it began. The custom appears to be almost unknown to most of my fellow Angelenos -- despite, you know, the most famous Christmas story, Charles Dickens's A Christmas Carol, containing new fewer than four ghosts. … Continue reading Christmas Ghost Stories On Film